Book, 2009, 314 pages, Grades 9 – 12
A first-year English teacher has a class of “unteachable, at-risk”students. One day she interpreted a note with a racial caricature and declared this was the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust – only to be met with uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. As they learned to see the parallels to their own lives in these books, the students recorded their thoughts and feelings in diaries of their own. They dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers”¬†in homage to the civil activists, the Freedom Riders.